Troopers: Charges pending after bale of hay kills Tenn. teen in crash

Troopers: Charges pending after Fayetteville teen killed when hay bale falls from truck / Source: MELANIE WATSON/WAFF

FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. (WAFF) -- It’s a tragedy that’s left the Fayetteville community mourning.

Tennessee State Troopers confirmed to WAFF 48 News that Fayetteville High School senior Tate Tuten died in a car crash on Shelbyville Highway Saturday afternoon.

Troopers say a hay bale became unsecured on the vehicle ahead of Tuten’s. The hay fell out of the truck and struck Tuten’s vehicle head on.

The state trooper said the 21-year-old driver of the truck has not been charged, but troopers say charges are pending.

Troopers say the investigation has not been completed. Therefore, there are no official charges at this time.

Troopers say charges are still pending, as the district attorney will make the decision moving forward on charges once the investigation has been completed.

Tuten was a soccer player and football player for the high school.

Fayetteville head football coach Kenny Morson said Tuten had the respect of his classmates, teammates and the community.

“Never saw a bad situation with Tate in those hallways. Everyone loved him from the 9th grade all the way up to the 12th grade. He definitely had an impact on everybody’s lives in that school," he said.

Morson said the death brought the team from the high of Friday night’s victory to heartbreak.

“Just remembering [Tuten] celebrating in the locker room with the team, running around, having a ball after the championship. That will be very vivid in all out minds,” he said.

“[The team is taking it] Rough. Really bad. They were all close to Tate. It’s been tough for them.”

He said now the team has a new goal and purpose.

“State for Tate. They’ve got a different look about them right now. They’ve got a mission in hand and they’re excited to move forward for him,” he said.

Visitation with the family will be from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Higgins Funeral Home.

A life celebration will be conducted at 11 a.m. on Thursday, at Fayetteville First Presbyterian Church. The burial will follow in the Booneville Cemetery.

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